Monday, August 29, 2005

Sample Night in the ER


Ouch! The ER is brutal! The other night I set my personal best with 19 patients in a 12-hour shift (a statistic which is even more impressive when you factor in that 9 of the 19 were admitted, 2 of which were ICU-level patients!)

Here's an example of one night's full tally of ER patients I took care of, in no particular order. It's *not* the record-setting night mentioned above, however. An asterix (*) denotes patients on which I had to perform a pelvic exam, perhaps my least favorite medical procedure of all time.
1. woman who was hit by dumpster in left shoulder at Jimmy Buffett concert.
2. woman who recently had C-section who presents with fever to 102.
3. diabetic guy who lost his meds and comes in with hyperglycemia.
4. young woman with right lower quadrant pain who did NOT have appendicitis*
5. asthmatic guy who lost his inhalers and comes in with wheezing (see a pattern here?)
6. woman with a stem cell transplant for myeloma comes in with fever and low white count.
7. woman with abdominal pain due to an ovarian cyst*
8. woman with abdominal pain due menstrual cramping (This was the night of the 5 pelvics--also a record)*
9. woman with pus underneath her right middle 3rd finger that needed to be drained.
10. woman with heart transplant and a lymphoma (some people have all the luck, huh?) with a fever after chemotherapy.
11. man with left-sided Bell's palsy (when one of the facial nerves is paralyzed and one side of your face is completely weak).
12. pregnant woman who was bleeding, fortunately didn't have a miscarriage*
13. woman with abdominal pain who might have ectopic pregnancy*
14. man with a new diagnosis of diabetes who came in with high blood sugars and peeing a lot, dehydrated.

Only 4 more shifts to go! Then I am on sweet, sweet elective...

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